As previously reported, mid-year 2018 the Council on Finance & Administration (CF&A) reviewed projections for apportionment receipts and determined that the receipts would be inadequate to cover the budgeted expenses. The Conference budget was reduced by 10% for each board and agency.

For 2018, apportionment receipts totaled $6,611,580 or 79.9% of the gross amount apportioned to local churches. This is a decrease of $18,045 or 0.2% from the 2017 receipts ($6,629,625). The percentage paid for the past five years has ranged between a low of 79.9% and a high of 82% (2015). We had 273 churches give 100% of the amount apportioned to them.

Total expenses were $6,466,658 and the addition to the cash reserve was $144,922. Expenses decreased by $376,464 compared to 2017. This decline was a direct result of the mid-year budget revision which led to staff reductions, the cancellation of some ministry events/activities, and the withholding of financial support from some churches and organizations. Difficult decisions were made by our Conference boards and agencies so that we could reach some financial stability. It is important to note that in 2018, we continued to pay our apportionments to the General Church in full in compliance with Conference Policy 10.3.0 General Conference Apportionments.

The cash reserve balance at the end of 2017 was $298,155. We were able to add $144,922 to the cash reserve for a 2018 balance of $443,077. Per Conference Policy 10.6.0 “The Council shall establish a goal of 10% of the Conference budget as the cash reserve”. The 2018 cash reserve goal was $662,963.

Click here to view the Final 2018 Budget Report. Also, click here to view the 2020 Proposed Budget and previous year budgets on our website.

Our Annual Conference supports The Crossing, an ecumenical organization located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Last fall The Crossing began partnering with a student organization called Food Recovery Network to address food insecurity and food waste on campus. More than 150 students come through for the delicious, health and free meals! 

“Outside My Window – A deeper look at the realities of our world” was a youth event that set out to broaden horizons and deepen participants hearts for a more just world. Led by Pastor Peace Kim from Whitefish Bay, the itinerary included worship at Riverside Church in NY, a seminar on Acts of Justice at the Church Center for the United Nations, serving meals at The Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger in Brooklyn, NY and so much more. 

Throughout the year, both Lake Lucerne and Pine Lake are open with opportunities for personal and group retreats. Our camps host groups almost every weekend of the year. In 2018, Lake Lucerne hosted 36 retreat groups and Pine Lake hosted 77 retreat groups. In 2018, we celebrated that camper registrations were up 10% over the previous year. There were 81 scholarships given to campers who may have missed the chance to be at camp without it. And over 35 churches raised or dedicated funds to help over 125 campers get to camp! Our camping staff worked hard to make all of this possible. Click here to visit the Camp & Retreat Ministries webpage.

Through December we received 73.3% of the Gross Apportionments billed to churches for 2018. Our goal for 2018 is 85%! If your church is able, please consider giving over and above the amount apportioned. Your generosity is appreciated! If you can, please send in your final giving through the Ezra website.

Each year, United Methodist Churches complete Statistical Reports which compiles data on Membership and Participation (Table #1), Church Assets and Expenses (Table #2) and Church Income (Table #3) for the entire denomination. The year-end reporting is done through the Ezra website (the same website used for online apportionment giving). The login credentials for your church will not be reset this year. Please use the password your church set last year or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to have it reset.

Beginning January 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car will be 58 cents per mile driven for business use and 14 cents per mile driver in service of charitable organizations.

If you are in the Sun Prairie area and would to help out our Finance & Administration Office by filing, data entry and other clerical work we would welcome it! As you know, our office was recently down-sized and although we are putting new efficient processes in place, we still have a lot of work to get things back to running smoothly! The good news is that all of our staff are up for the challenge. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have the availability to spend a day with our F&A team.

There are some year end tasks you should be aware of, including form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement, contribution statements and a few tips for closing your books.

January 19th - Leadership Conference - 9 a.m. at Onalaska UMC. Click here for the flyer. January 28th - Clergy Tax Workshop 9:30 a.m. at Conference Center in Sun Prairie. Click here to register. February 11th - Clergy Taxes: Keep All You Can! 10 a.m. webinar. Click here to register.

Thank you to all of our churches who are giving generously to our shared mission and ministry! The deadline for 2018 apportionments is Monday, January 14th. Please visit the secure Ezra website to see the details on how much your church has given so far to our shared Connectional Ministries!

The year is coming to a close. Around this time of year I like to reflect on and evaluate our work in hopes that we can make some improvements to better serve you in the future. If you have time, please give us some feedback by completing a survey.

Our Finance & Administration Office upholds your churches in our prayers during our meetings. We hope that this last month of the year is filled with Joy and Peace for your church. We thank God for you!

Blessings…

Tamara Wims
Conference Treasurer & Director of Administration

We encourage your church to give online (if possible) through the Ezra website and do so by the end of December. However, you have until Monday, January 14th to send in your giving. Any apportionments received after the January 14th deadline will be applied towards 2019. The Ezra website will accept 2019 payments beginning January 21st. As a reminder, giving reports are only mailed to churches that request them. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the reports by mail.

Church Treasurers will receive a 2019 Benefits billing update from our office by January 15th. Please refer to your Pastoral Support Worksheet for preliminary numbers. We have several procedures to complete in the billing software before the January billing statements can be sent to you.

Money is needed if churches are going to carry out their ministries, but continually asking for money and encouraging reluctant donors to give can be tiresome. Why do some people give willingly while others don’t? Why does a person give one day and not another? Click here to view the full article by Tricia Brown on our UMC We Give website.

The Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation is a tremendous resource to our Annual Conference providing stewardship challenge grants, investment management, campaign services and so much more to our churches. In addition to that, the Foundation is able to transact stock gifts and IRA rollover gifts to your church at no cost!